Unlike last year's oven-roasted death-trap, the show this year felt cool temperature-wise AND crowd-wise. I noticed there was a large hang-out area at the back of the hall I don't remember last year that made for a great meet-up/breather area, and with the show in early April, the weather meant the non-climate controlled Armory housing the event wasn't stuffed with heavy B.O. and WARMTH.
I also ran into an army of friends, co-workers and friend co-workers, which always helps make a show more fun thanks to the constant "Holy balls, what did you buy?!" or "Dude dude DUDE, lemme see the sketch you got from Lucy Knisley!" sorts of conversations. I know Frank Miller was at the show, but I never spotted him. And I didn't even try to break out my Watchmen sketchbook, though I now wish I had (re: Lucy Knisley).
The show was flowing with newsprint comics, which makes me wonder if that's a new grasp at nostalgia or if I was just NOT paying attention to past similarly formatted books. I literally doubled my newspaper-esque comic collection after this show. Meanwhile, I think I bought more comics from creators I'm not all that familiar with at this show than any other MoCCA, which was FUN. I skipped the panels, I took a break to eat (thanks for making me, Emily), I spent all the money I saved for this, and I want to roll the show up into a pillowcase so I can snuggle with it every night of the year. Here's what I bought:
Philly-based comics collective with a rad yellow cover, this was the first comic I got at the show on newsprint. Flipping through, a creator named Art Baxter stood out.
HERO LAND #1-6 - Esther Pearl Watson's neat screen-printed superhero parody comics. NEON!
ESCHEW #2 - A new issue of Robert Sergel's creepy stark black and white comics!
DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL STICKER - This was available in support of the off-Broadway play based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Phoebe Gluckner. I'ma put it on your face!
EVERYTHING DIES #1-2 - Two great-looking minis from Box Brown, a creator I've only just started reading.
UNSYNDICATED PRESS - Box Brown's comic collection of his online strip Bellen!, this was the second comic I got at the show on newsprint.
HEAVEN ALL DAY - I'm so fucking excited about this book from John Martz that looks like it's about an alien and an average joe trying to find happiness. Reminded me of Jonathan Bennett, Graham Annable and Martin Cendreda all wrapped together!
MACHINE GUM #1 - A little anthology of John Martz's shorter works! Check this guy out!
THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE COCAINE - My BFF Sean T. Collins wrote this based-on-true-events mini about a period in David Bowie's life where he did a lot of coke and had a pretty disturbing mental breakdown. Art by Isaac Moylan, you can find a copy here. This was the first book I bought at the show!
POOD #1 - ANOTHER newsprint comic! This time it's an anthology with Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca (the Street Angel guys) and a whole lot of others including Hans Rickheit. This makes 3...
PHASE 7 #7 - Creator Alec Longstreth's Phase 7 series is usually made up of standalone autobio issues, but the fictional "Basewood" storyline was taking him a while to complete, so he broke up the series by skipping the numbering of the rest of the story arc and left room in the middle of the series for the remaining chapters. Now, three years later, chapter three of "Basewood" has arrived! I'm so excited!
PHASE 7 #15 - See above for why there's a new issue of Phase 7 and it's 8 issues after the other new issue. Alec's comics are so fun to read.
SNAKE PIT 2009 - Ben White's daily autobio comics about hard-party living in Austin, Texas, are now being collected by Birdcage Bottom Books after their last run at Microcosm. I can't explain how much joy I've gotten out of these stories about a young rock-baller kicking ass back in my home-state. That's what made it kinda poopy to hear Ben's gonna stop making the book after 2010's collected - his 10th anniversary of diary comics. MADNESS.
MIGHTY SKULLBOY ARMY #12 - New Jacob Chabot fun!
5 COMING OF AGE STORIES #1-10 - I've never heard of CCS student Max de Radigues, but his cute series of French-translated diary comics - each packaged as 5-issue bundles with a color band - are BOSS.
FRANCIS SHARP IN THE GRIP OF THE UNCANNY CHAPTER 1 - Like something out of a long-lost volume of Flight, this 84-page story about a boy battling back against the unknown looks so AWESOME! Artist B. Sabo also gave me a mer-people print!
INVINCIBLE SUMMER #16/CLUTCH #21 - A new issue of Clutch I didn't know came out last year! I hear there's a big-ole "lost stories" collection coming this year?
WEIRD BUT TRUE TOON FACTOIDS - I got this Craig Yoe book poppin' with useless comics facts for free.
INKDICK #2-7 - Never heard of this diary comic till MoCCA! Unique book dimensions and fresh art style hooked me in for all the issues creator Pranas Naujokaitis had.
BEARD - Another book by Pranas, this time it's about BEARDS! Fun comic flap in the front, too.
MOCCA PROGRAM GUIDE - Cover by Dash Shaw.
THE GLOW - Swedish Comic Fun #1! Creepy-bonkers story about a guy zapping himself on a roof while fixing the TV antennae. Nuttiness ensues. From Shamila Banerjee.
POOR PINKI - Swedish Comic Fun #2! Also from Banerjee comes this (creepy?) kitty tale.
YOU'RE TALKING WITH THE WRONG PERSON #2 - Swedish Comic Fun #3! A Martin Ernstsen autobio comic! Bought the first issue last year at a comic shop in the city. Clean, crisp art.
TRIGGER #1 - Mike Bertino's new mini looks like an ice cream tastes on a hot summer day and he's packed three stories in for maximum flavor fun. Reminded me a lot of Ted May if Ted May had a Cartoon Network show.
HOT TOWN - A summer of diary comics set in New York City from Robyn Jordan.
PEDAL PUSH - Also from Robyn Jordan - a roadtrip comic!!!
GETTING THERE - A comic about the interesting folks who perform in the NYC subways from Robyn Jordan! That's three minis about topics right up my alley and all for cheap! REALLY like this cover.
CABOOSE - MORE newsprint comics?!?! This one from the CCS folks. My 4th at the show and it was free!
CCS FLYER - I've got the last three of these, but this one's from the previously mentioned Max de Radigues and laid out like a letter home from a current student.
LITTLE WOLVES - James Hindle comic starring a kid's book artist who goes through a little bit of a tough time. BEAUTIFUL cover.
EVERYDAY - A narrative comic (of sorts) by Joe Lambert!! Lookit his art lookit his art lookit his art.
HEAVY HANDED - JP Coovert is one of my favorite CCS grads and he had this new comic about a dude getting fired and going on a nuts adventure involving a wizard and some monsters. YEAH.
ONLY SKIN #5 - Do you like small-town mysteries, hand-made comics, ghosts, spooky forests, awkward interactions with your dead dad's secret lover and MURDER? Go right now and find copies of this series from Sean Ford, which is possibly my favorite series to pick up at MoCCA and SPX whenever it comes out.
FUTURE - New volume of the standalone 4-Square anthology series from a rotating crew of creators and I Know Joe Kimpel.
And that's it! Possibly the best thing of all was hanging out with and seeing all my best friends. TJ wrote up the show from his perspective over here and Sean did the same here. Otherwise, it was coooool to see Emily and Amy, Jesse, Ryan, Alex, David, Matt, Alejandro, Jon, Heather, Adam S., Darren, Rex, Rachel and John, Paul M. Adam P, Pornsak, Sal, and more and more and more. Comics and friends!
And this weekend? C2E2 - see you in Chicago!